Humanitarian issues continue to be widespread after Pakistan floods

As many as eight million people in flood-hit areas of Pakistan continue to need medical assistance, a UN agency has said in its 100-day report, as disease continues to spread unabated.

The report, published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), said that about 13.5 million people need protection services, while the floods have impacted the education of 3.5 million children.

Flooding and standing waters have unleashed waves of water and vector-borne diseases, and millions of people are facing food insecurity, the report added, noting that access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene remains a challenge.

“Shelter is also a high priority as winter sets in and millions still wait for their land to dry. Survivors are returning home to destroyed houses, ruined crops, and dead livestock,” it said.

The report mentioned that people are displaced from place to place and protection of the most vulnerable and continued learning for children are of key concern.

It said that about a total of 33 million people have been affected with 20.6 million still in need of assistance.

Also, the winter season is fast approaching, and the affected population will be severely affected by the harsh weather conditions in a few weeks, requiring adequate shelter and non-food items such as tents and blankets, it added.

According to the report, flood water has continued to recede in many areas of Balochistan and Sindh during the last weeks, although standing water remains in some districts. In Sindh, the most affected districts, such as Dadu, Khairpur and Mirpurkhas, remain underwater for nearly two months.

The economic situation of Pakistan is also poor, according to the post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA), conducted by the Ministry of Planning and Development with the Asian Development Bank, European Union, World Bank, and the United Nations system:

“The economy has suffered a loss of $15.2 billion while it requires $16.3 billion for rehabilitation. The floods have increased the poverty rate by 4% while up to 9.1 million people are below the poverty line.”

It added that Pakistan still requires a total of $816 million to meet its needs out of which $171 million has been funded while the remaining amount is $644.5 million.

As far as the infrastructure is concerned, 13,000 road lengths and 439 bridges have been damaged by the cataclysmic floods, the report added.

To date, more than 2.3 million houses have been damaged including 900,000 houses that are fully damaged across the country. Based on currently available data, some 5.4 million people remain displaced due to heavy rains and floods.